Phone: 085 141 0841

Sick and Tired

It all started in 2012, although in reality it started a long time before but my body had finally had enough by then. I had started a new job in February and while the hours were longer the stress was a lot less. I was so ashamed that my fatigue might be due to the fact that I couldn’t hack an 8 – 5 job that I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling. I especially didn’t want my new colleagues to know!  I had already spoken to my doctor about my exhaustion and persistent dizziness but my bloods had come back normal so he put it down to low blood pressure and/or depression, offered me antidepressants and sent me on my way. I powered on through while I got angrier with myself and my body for being so sensitive and so weak. I wish I had known then what I know now.

By the summer of 2013 I sat at home on the sofa most evenings with barely enough energy to lift a fork to my mouth while the sun mocked me from outside. Of course this was the best summer we’d had in years and anyone who knows me knows how much I love the sun! I couldn’t even cut the grass without taking half-hour breaks every ten minutes. Even my daily walks had dwindled to nothing. Gradually, over the next few months, the muscle and joint pain started to creep in. At times it got so bad that even lightly rubbing my thigh was unbearable. Because I was exercising less I thought the pain was because of lack of use.

I Need Help!

In September I went to Karen my physical therapist, and also a good friend, for some relief. I couldn’t believe how much discomfort I felt even at the slightest touch. The fear, frustration and concern was so overwhelming that at the end of our session I started to cry and confided what I was afraid to admit: “I think I might have Fibromyalgia.”  Karen was caught off guard. I’m usually so strong that I could tell it was strange for her to see me so vulnerable. She was truly great though. “Let’s not jump the gun.” She said. “It may just be a magnesium deficiency”. “You know Nancy, you’ve been really stressed the past couple of years, have you heard of Adrenal Fatigue? It might be an idea to check it out and see if it resonates.” Karen recommended a magnesium supplement and to read J. Wilson’s book Adrenal Fatigue as well as Marilyn Glenville’s Fat around the Middle.

Let the Research Begin

The magnesium helped somewhat to relieve the pain and in Glenville’s book I learned all about the cortisol rollercoaster which I will speak about in a later blog. In Wilson’s book I learned how important our adrenal glands are, the multitude of reasons that can cause them to crash and the devastating effects these little glands can have throughout our bodies if we don’t look after them correctly. Adrenal stressors include but are not limited to:

  • Infections (chronic and acute)
  • Constant/repeated stress
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Allergies / food intolerance
  • Over exertion
  • Exercising too much / too little
  • Smoking
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor eating habits (junk food, processed food, takeaways)
  • Lack of fresh fruits and vegies
  • Sugar and white flour products
  • Would healing
  • Prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • Marital / relationship stress
  • Caffeine (including energy drinks)
  • Fear
  • Unemployment
  • Negative self-talk and beliefs
  • Lack of relaxation
  • Death of a loved one
  • Financial pressure
  • Perfectionism
  • Toxins / heavy metals
  • Lack of purpose / place in the world
  • Loneliness
  • Feeling misunderstood / unlovable

Look carefully at that list. Isn’t it a snap-shot of our lives in the 21st century? No wonder autoimmune diseases are becoming more and more prevalent!
I have to say I was overwhelmed when I read this list. Although I didn’t tick all the boxes there were plenty that I did tick. Did I have to rectify all of those issues at once to feel better? And who would I go to to help me?

Confused

Even though my diet was pretty good, I felt an easy place to start would be nutrition. I found a well-known clinic in Dublin and booked an appointment with a nutritionist. To cut a long story short, the sessions, tests and supplements cost me a fortune and I felt no better by the end of my treatment. Please don’t let this put you off nutritionists. I have found really good ones since that have helped me immensely. I knew from day one we weren’t a good fit but I was so desperate and I was sure that, because she had a title and worked at a world renowned clinic, she must be good. The takeaway from this (and from my work in general) is to ALWAYS trust your own instinct no matter how much your ego or others try to convince you otherwise.
At the same time I also had my thyroid, B12, folate and vitamin D checked. All came back “within normal range”. I had hair analysis done for heavy metals and sent off samples for allergy testing. Nothing significant. The only red flag was that my homocysteine levels were in the moderate category at 17 (optimum is below 10 to 12) but again I was told to take more B vitamins to help lower it and that was it. I was never made aware of how important these levels are and what they can indicate. So why test in the first place?!

I had read about good acupuncture is for chronic pain so I sought out a good acupuncturist to help with the recurring bouts of pain I was experiencing and started going to Fiona. What a God-send! I cannot begin to describe how much I have fallen in love with acupuncture and how it has helped me over the years.

Frustrated

So by the end of 2013 I had tried lots, had felt better at times but the fatigue continued to get worse.  I spent most of my time trying to muster enough energy to get me through the work day and swinging between frustration, anger and large doses of denial but deep down there was still a glimmer of hope I could find solutions to my problems. Little did I know though that I’d have to get a lot worse before I got better.
NEXT TIME: Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.

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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical expert of any kind. All of the information contained in this website is based on my own opinions, personal experience and research.

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